Monday, November 14, 2011


Photo:  Dan Rod
First off, yes.  Cobrinha wears a pretty prominent fauxhawk, which is frowned upon here (at DSTRYR/SG).  But, he's Cobrinha and gets a pass.  Besides, Justin Rader's looks a little too 21 Jump Street for 201, so there's a strange balance here.  Not the point though.

Watch the feather weight division finals match from 2011 No Gi Worlds below between Cobrinha and Rader (thanks to Jiu Jitsu Factory, makers of the "Original Belt Rank (OBR) sandals").   Cobrinha's performance here is a near perfect illustration of many subtle elements of great grappling. 

We already know Cobrinha has world class skills  (as does Rader) - that's assumed.   What's so great to see is his poise, patience and persistence as he repeatedly sets up the same inverted sweep throughout the match.  He's relentless with it and it requires that kind of single mindedness for him to get it done.  Equally amazing is the tempo and pace he sets for the whole bout.  Rader is forced to defend from moment one.  In the end (and in my opinion), it's these two less thought of principles of BJJ (poise/patience/persistence and pace/tempo) that win it for Cobrinha.  It's brilliant.    


  1. There's a discussion about this match going on at RLJr's Facebook page. Rafael yesterday asked for comments regarding Cobrinha repeatedly sitting down without any contact with Rader, which is therefore not pulling guard, and not legal. The suggestion about Cobrinha's performance focus on warnings the referee did not subsequently give him, and Rader even mentioned something about this to the referee around 7:50 into the video of the match. As well, he believes Rader should have been awarded 2 pts for a takedown at 8:39.

    Please check this out, DSTRYR team, and report back.


  2. I re-watched and I now see the issues. It appears to be a judgment call on the ref's part based on whether there is contact between the 2 competitors.

    I suppose it may have given Cobrinha an unfair advantage, since it allowed him to set the pace and angle of attack.

    Poor reffing? Maybe.

  3. Haha, "Maybe." "I suppose..."

    I must admit I had hoped for a little more from you, as your experience in competitive SG far surpasses mine. But hey, thanks for responding.

    This match wasn't won on points. It does demonstrate, however, how much judging can affect a match, since we'll never know how Cobrinha would have behaved if he had been warned and told to stand TFU. I've disliked judged sports for a very long time, in particular those that give higher marks to those that smile more.

    Thankfully JJ isn't one of those.

    One of the comments on RLJr's wall post alluded to Brazilians being biased against non-Brazilians. Personally, I doubt that was a factor, as it was more likely that Cobrinha's celebrity status (among grapplers) would have tilted the scales in his favor, if anything did.

    But I am far from their level. I'm still smashing white belts with sloppy scrambles and a beer belly gas tank. AKA my game.

  4. You got me. I'm trying to be diplomatic, because, honestly, I'm not knowledgeable enough about the rule to render a strong opinion. I've never had referee/rules issues in my years competing. And, when I've refereed, this has not come up as an issue.

    Here, RLJ is asserting that the judge did not enforce a rule that would have benefited Justin. It is not clear enough to me, so I have defer to others. RLJ knows what he's talking about - that is for sure. At the same time, I'm sure the ref thought he was making good decisions. Perhaps the rule needs to be made clearer.

    Re the Brazilian favoritism thing - it's very commonly argued, but I don't see it as a real issue.

  5. I could see a couple of places where the ref could have stood Cobrinha up. He does push pretty close to the limit.

    IMO there was no takedown at 8:39, no real control of Cobrinha's legs by Justin.

    IMO the final restart looked to me to unduly favour Cobrinha. He should have restarted on Justin's back, but he never had the arm around the neck when they went out of bounds. Hard to see exactly what went on from the video though.

    Still, IMO Cobrinha was clearly dominating. Justin was never going to pass that guard.